Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Tuesday sought clarification on the "actual state of criminality" in the country following President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to put the entire country under state of lawless violence.
Pangilinan particularly questioned the need to make such a declaration in light of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) claim that crime rate has gone down since Duterte took office in June.
"We recognize that the President has intelligence information that we do not possess that gives him a better sense of the law and order situation nationwide which we assume guided him in his decision to make such a declaration," said Pangilinan.
"We would like to be clarified however regarding the actual state of criminality and lawlessness in the country considering that only last week, the Philippine National Police had said that crime has in fact gone down by almost half or 49 percent in the first two month safter the anti-drug campaign was launched," he added.
Duterte made the declaration after a deadly blast hit a Davao City night market Friday last week, killing 14 people and injuring over 60 others.
PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa earlier said that data from the Director for Investigation and Detective Management showed that the daily average crime volume since July 1 has gone down to 49 percent.
NCRPO chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde clarified that the daily average crime volume Dela Rosa referred to covers only street crimes and excludes homicide and murder cases.
Sen. Ralph Recto, meanwhile, said while he supported Duterte's declaration of a state of lawlessness, it should have an expiration or a "sunset provision."
"I am for a national emergency which has an expiry date for the simple reason that it injects a deadline to be met in quelling lawless violence," he said.
In case, the objectives of the declaration are not met, the Palace can just extend the period of emergency, Recto added. "A renewable declaration is better than one that is open-ended," he said.
"If government claims that we are entering a dark period of history, then to buoy the people's hopes up, the relief being offered must state when the light at the end of [the] tunnel will be seen," Recto added source